Schloss Reinhartshausen Old Vines Riesling

Schloss Reinhartshausen Old Vines RieslingI have an thought.  How about another riesling review?
This one from the impossible-for-any-American-to-spell-correctly Schloss Reinhartshausen winery in Rheingau, Germany.  Those who’ve been conception our additional recent riesling reviews will know that Rheingau is the province along the River Rhine. Read more

Fritz’s Riesling

Fritz’s RieslingOne of the things that bums me out about the US wine scene (for lack of a better term) is how so many people dislike riesling — or at least reckon they dislike it.  But it’s really a wine that’s not well understood by many people, particularly in the US.  I too have been guilty of this in the past.  I attribute this misunderstanding mostly to domestic riesling.  There are some excellent domestic rieslings, so I don’t want to paint in really broad strokes, but there are plenty that leave something to be desired.
I’ve heard many consumers complain about American riesling being too sweet.  But this is just an example of how many consumers don’t be with you riesling.  The problem isn’t necessarily the sweetness, it’s the fact that that sweetness isn’t balanced with acid.  And let’s be apparent, not all rieslings are sweet.  Rieslings from any province can run the gamut from bone dry to syrupy sweet.
In my opinion, if you want to be with you and appreciate riesling, you should really start with ancient world rieslings from Germany, Austria and the Alsace province of France.  They just tend to be more consistently well balanced than many of their American counterparts.  While some of these ancient world rieslings can get pricey, there are subdue plenty of fantastic deals to be found.  And that takes us to a German riesling called Fritz’s Riesling. Read more

Groebe Aulerde Westhofen Riesling

Groebe Aulerde Westhofen RieslingLast week we reviewed a nice — and very affordable — German riesling from the Rheinhessen province, Fritz’s Riesling.  And tonight we’re checking out another riesling from the Rheinhessen province.
The Weingut Groebe estate was established way back in 1625, so these folks have been building riesling for more than a few years.  You might notice that the marks on these wines say 1763, and that is the year the family started bearing the coat of arms — which is also on their marks.  I’ve always wanted a coat of arms, but no luck for me there.  Oh sure, I’ve gotten the random junk mail tiresome to sell me my “official” family coat of arms, but I’m not that gullible.  In the case of Groebe, the coat of arms is legit.  And it includes the cross of St. Andrew’s in it, which is an ancient Christian character for wine.
But moving further than the coat of arms, I know you’re interested in the wine.  And this particular one is excellent.  Really excellent.  OK, it’s brilliant! Read more

Dessert Wine

history of wine german wine culture of wine consuming wine  %tages Dessert WineDessert wines are sweet wines usually served with dessert.

A dessert wine is considered to be any sweet wine drunk with a meal, as opposed to the white fortified wines drunk before the meal, and the red fortified wines drunk after it. Thus, most fortified wines are compared as distinct from dessert wines.

In the United States, oppositely, a dessert wine is legally defined as any wine over 14% alcohol by volume, which includes all fortified wines. This dates back to a time when the US wine industry only made dessert wines by fortification, but such a classification is outdated now that modern yeast and viticulture can produce dry wines over 15% without fortification.

German dessert wines can contain half that amount of alcohol.

Winemakers want to produce a dessert wine containing high levels of both sugar and alcohol, yet the alcohol is made from sugar. There are many ways to increase sugar levels in the final wine:

  • Grow grapes so that they naturally have sugar to spare for both sweetness and alcohol.
  • Add alcohol before all the sugar is fermented, this is called fortification, or 'mutage'.
  • Add sugar.
  • Remove water to concentrate the sugar.

Honey was added to wine in early Roman times Continue reading

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